Email Itinerary
Revecer's Email address: *
The Subject of the Mail: *
Itinerary Name: 18 Days Full View Silk Road Tour: Xian-Tianshui-Lanzhou-Zhangye-Jiayuguan-Dunhuang-Tulufan-Urumuqi (by Train),Urumuqi-Kashi (by Flight)
Day 1
Arrival in Xian City, the capital of Shaanxi Province
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Xian

You can take flight or train to Xi’an city by yourselves. It is around 40 KM/45 minutes van ride from Xi’an Airport to downtown city.

 

If you take bullet train to Jiayuguan city, normally the fast train will stop at the Xi’an North Railway Station. It is around 20 KM/40 minutes from this railway station to downtown city.

Day 2
Tour in Xian
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Xian

Today in Xi’an, tourists can visit the Terracotta Warriors and Copper Carriage for the Emperor Qinshihuang (UNESCO World Heritage), Banpo Neolithic Village, Bell Tower and Drum Tower (to enjoy the out view for both of them) and Muslim streets (the well protected old Xi’an Streets).

 

Some more info about the above attractions today in Xi’an, 

 

Located around 40 km / 50 minutes drive to the east of Xian city, The Terracotta Warriors and Copper Carriage for the Emperor Qinshihuang (UNESCO World Heritage) is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

 

Located at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain, 40 kilometers / 50 minutes drive to the east of Xian, the Terracotta Army is the buried army of Qin Shi Huang, the emperor who united whole China and died in 210 BC. This army was made of clay and constructed to protect him in the afterlife. They are around life-size tall, with commanders in the army being the tallest. Although now looks in grey, in fact, they were decorated beautifully when they were made out. Now there are still some colorful pieces of terracotta army sculptures being discovered, but they should be immediately protected in advanced scientific means. The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well looking for underground water. Over a thousand terracotta warriors and horses have been uncovered since then. At least 6,000 more are thought to remain buried still at this archaeological site.

 

The sculptures are so detailed that it is possible to guess the age, rank and personality of each one. None of the soldiers are the same. Some carry weapons such as daggers, bows and arrows, swords, spears or axes.

 

The figures include warriors, generals, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the 3 pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huangs mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. 

 

The Terracotta Army was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. "the tomb is the largest in Chinese history, with a unique standard and layout, and a large number of exquisite funeral objects. It testifies to the founding of ... the Qin Dynasty, which during the 3rd BCE, wielded unprecedented political, military and economic power and advanced the social, cultural and artistic level of the empire. ", valued by UNESCO.

 

Pls note:

The entrance ticket will be checked 3 time: the gate to the park before the Museum, the gate into the Museum yard, and before boarding the shuttle to Qingshihuang Mausoleum. So keep the ticket carefully is very important.

 

It will take around 20 minutes walking from the 1st gate to 2nd gate. So there is battery car service between the 2 gates.

 

Normally your tour in the Museum can go like this: 

from left to right,

1. Enjoy a Movie in the Movie Hall to know a rough idea of the Terracotta Warrior and the Mausoleum.

2. Pit 1, the biggest and first pit to be found

3. Pit 3, the commander team of the Army 

4. Pit.4. Crossbow manWar Chariot and some fine statues

5. Exhibition Hall to enjoy the most precious ones, such as the Bronze Chariots and Horses, and some thematic exhibitions.

  

Banpo Neolithic Village Museum

Located around 18 km east from the center of Xian and discovered in 1953, the Neolithic Village of Banpo is a typical matriarchal community of the Yangshao Culture in the Neolithic Age. This archaeological site contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements carbon dated to 5600–6700 years ago. At that time, the Banpo people used tools made primarily of wood and stone. Women, the crucial labor force, were responsible for making pottery, spinning, and raising the family, while men fished.

 

The area of 5 to 6 hectares (12 to 15 acres) is surrounded by a ditch, probably a defensive moat, 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 ft) wide. The houses were circular, built of mud, supported by timber poles and with steeply pitched thatched roofs. Many of the houses were semi-subterranean with the floor typically 1 meter (3 ft) below the ground surface. There appear to be communal burial areas. 5 excavations between 1953 and 1957 have unearthed about a fifth of the total village (about 10,000 square meters). As the first museum at the prehistoric sit, the onsite Banpo Museum was opened in 1958. 

   

Bell Tower and Drum Tower are the landmark of ancient Xi’an and mark the centre of the ancient capital with their garish colors and elegant architecture. Muslim streets Block is the well protected Old Xian area. 

   

Muslim quarter in Xi’an 

Covering many blocks and inhabitated by over 20,000 Muslims, Muslim quarter is a very large area of well-preserved old Xian streets, alleyways with some elaborate Mosques, ancient courtyards, local specialty stores, local food restaurants, a vegetable market, a bird and flower market (also sell goldfish and turtles) in the current middle west old Xian city, by the side of the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the landmark of Xian. There are around ten mosques in the area, among which the Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous and popular.

 

Muslim food and souvenir market is another feature of the area. The Beiyuanmen Muslim Market located just to the north of the Drum Tower is a great choice after the sightseeing in the city center. About 500 meters in length from south to north, this street is paved with dark colored stone and green trees providing heavy shade during summer. The buildings on both sides of the street are modeled on the styles of both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Some of the constructions are restaurants; while others are stores. But here there is one thing in common: the owners are all Muslims.

 

It is stated that once you have been to the Beiyuanmen Muslim Street, you wont feel regretted for the snacks of Xian. Crumbled Unleavened Bread in Mutton Stew (Yangrou Paomo) is a very distinctive snack of Xian, and is extremely delicious. Fried rice with pickled Chinese cabbage and little capsicum is extremely savoury. And it is a real enjoyment for you to eat it on a hot summers day. Roast beef, mutton or lamb is another snack that can make your mouth water. After broiling on a charcoal fire with some flavorings on the meat, it is ready for you to enjoy. While the most famous snack on this street is the steamed stuffed bun of Jiasan. The main ingredients of the steamed stuffed bun here are beef or mutton mixed with the soup decocted from the bones of sheep or cattle.

 

There are also fruit pies made with persimmon here which are considered as the unique refreshment in Xian. These pies take the bright red, glittering and translucent persimmons from the Lintong District of Xian City as the basic ingredients. When making the pies, firstly people will get rid of the skin of the persimmons, pounding the flesh, mixing it with flour, then putting the sweet-scented osmanthus and white sugar inside as the stuffing, then frying them in oil until they are cooked. When eating them, you will feel savory, sweet and soft.

 

There are also a great many other snacks to be found along this street, such as preserved meat, casserole, various noodles, and so on. They are waiting for you to enjoy. 

 

Walking along the twisted, narrow streets in this area which is aligned with stores on both sides, you can see that Muslim men with white hats sit inside the stores and talk leisurely with each other. In front of the doors of some stores, old men with white beards sit on the cane chairs enjoying the tender touch of the sun and having fun with the little children running along the street.

 

The area is well worth exploring, if not for all the sights, scents and noises, then for the intriguing window into Chinese culture it offers. 

  

 

* Anyway, We suggest you can take our Join-in Pick-up Bus Tour in Xian.

This kind of Tour means we have a van to pick up every tourist at their address in downtown Xian, and become a tour group to tour in or around the city. In this way, it can be cheap and convenient for the individual tourists.

 

* For more detail about the Join-in Pick-up Bus Tour,

At computer, please kindly view our website at 

    http://www.tripww.com/bigxl/JoinIinTour.html 

At Mobile Phone, please kindly view our website at

    http://www.tripww.com/phone/trip/biglist.aspx?hname=JoinIinTour           

Day 3
Tour in Xi’an, Fast Train from Xi’an to Tianshui
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Tianshui

Today in Xi’an, tourists can visit Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Da Cien Temple (Temple of Great Maternal Grace) around it, Xian City Wall, Shaanxi History Museum. 

 

Afterwards, you can take taxi for around 16KM/40M ride to Xi’an North Railway Station, to take the fast train for around 1H40M train ride from Xi’an to Tianshui.

 

After you arrive at Tainshui (normally the fast train will stop at Tianshui South Railway Station), tourist can take taxi to the central Tianshui. Please note that the Tianshui South Railway Station is around 18KM/22M taxi ride to downtown Tianshui.

 

Some more info about the above attractions today in Xi’an, 

 

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Da Cien Temple (Temple of Great Maternal Grace) around it 

 

Standing in the middle of Da Cien Temple complex, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved Buddhist pagoda located in downtown Xian. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty. One of the pagodas many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Monk Xuanzang. He translated Sanskrit scriptures to Mandarin and developed Buddhism theories of consciousness, karma and rebirth that were adopted by some later popular schools of Buddhism. In 704, 5 new stories were added on the pagoda, but in around 1560 it was partially damaged in earthquake and immediately rebuilt to its current height of 7 stories, the style of the pagoda still exists as the original one in Tang Dynasty. Now it is 64 m (210 ft) tall and from the top it offers views over the city of Xian.

 

It was added to the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014, together with other sites along the ancient Silk Road. 

 

This whole scenic area includes the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da cien Temple, and the various squares with the statue of Monk Xuanzang standing in the middle, gardens and other facilities around. 

 

Pls Note: Tourist should pay additionally to get into the pagoda. Entrance ticket of the temple does not include the pagoda fee, although the pagoda is in the middle of the temple. 

    

Built between 1374 and 1378, making it over 600 years old, the existing ancient Xian City Wall is the most well-preserved, most complete oldest city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Along the top of the wall is a walkway, which would typically take 4 hours to cover on foot. 

 

Located in the center of Xian City, the ancient City Wall is rectangular in shape and has a total length of around 14 kilometers long. The wall encloses an area of about 14 square kilometres. The city wall measures 12 meters high, 15-18 meters wide at the base and 12-14 meters wide at the top. It has four main gates: Changle Gate in the east, Anding Gate in the west, Yongning Gate in the south and Anyuan Gate in the north.

 

There are 5948 battlements on the outer side of the city wall, once used by archers to defend against enemies. Ramparts are built at intervals of 120 metres (390 ft) , projecting from the main wall. About every 40 or 60 meters, there are water channels made of green bricks used for drainage. The channels were very important for long term protection of the wall. The Xian City Wall is a complete and perfected defense system including a moat, suspension bridge, draw bridge and turrets.

 

The Xian City Wall is on the tentative list of UNESCOs World Heritage Site under the title "City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties".

 

Pls Note: Tourists can rent and ride a bicycle on the Wall. 

   

Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi Province is one of the important areas where Chinese nation lived and multiplied and also one of the cradles and development places of Chinese civilization. The rich cultural legacy and profound cultural heritage formed the Shaanxi unique historical cultural features. Built in 1983 and opened to the public on 20 June 1991, Shaanxi History Museum is China’s first large-scale modern national museum. The museum houses over 370,000 precious relics which were unearthed in Shaanxi Province, including bronze wares, pottery figures, and mural paintings in Tang tombs, as well as bronze, gold, and silver objects, dating from the simple stone that human used at the initial stage in ancient times down to all kinds implements in social life before 1840; the time span covers more than one million years. The cultural relics are rich in number and types and have high grade and wide value, among which Shang Dynasty bronze is exquisite; terracotta figurines of past dynasties are of varied types and postures; gold and silver ware of Han and Tang Dynasty is unique across the country; wall paintings of Tang tomb have no equals in this world. It is called a collection of variety of boutiques carnival. 

 

The museum is with a building area of 55,600 square meters, exhibition halls of 11,000 square meters. The Museum has the style of Tang dynasty buildings of “central palace hall with four worship houses around” with orderly, harmonious, vigorous and grave construction, with a combination of traditional architecture and modern technology, which embodies folk tradition and local features.

 

(Please note: The Museum is closed on every Monday.)

  

Day 4
Tour in Tianshui
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Tianshui

Today in Tianshui, tourists can visit Maiji Mountain Grottoes, 

 

Some more info about the above attraction today in Tianshui, 

 

One of the highlight of the tour itinerary is the Maiji Mountain Grottoes which is 60 km southeast of Tianshui City and filled with thousands of exquisite clay artifacts in grottoes. This is reputed to be one of Chinas Four Greatest Grottoes, along with the Dunhuang Grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes, and the Yungang Grottoes. The Maijishan Mountain is only 142 meters high but is in a peculiars shape with fantastic grottoes on the cliff of the mountain. Being famous for its elegant clay sculptures, the Maiji Mountain Grottoes are regarded as a "world art treasure-house". If the Dunhuang Grottoes is a big exhibition hall of mural, then the Maiji Mountain Grottoes can be regarded as a big sculpture gallery. The sculptures inside the caves were made from 384 A.D. – 19th century, in the heights between 20 centimeters and 15 meters, reflecting characteristics of different times. It is rare that Buddhist caves were cut on such steep cliff in China.

  

Today there are still 194 grottoes existing on the Maiji Mountain, with over 7200 clay sculptures and stone carvings and 1300 mural made in different dynasties. One of the outstanding features of the Maiji Mountain Grottoes is that the caves were constructed on precipitous locations and what connects each other is the plank paths built along the face of the cliff. Tourists who walk on the paths can feel the grandness and arduousness of the project. Anyway, it is very safe.

    

* Tourists can take bus or taxi to Maiji Mountain Grottoes.

 

After getting off the bus, tourist can walk up the main road, buy the ticket at the ticket office, and go directly into the scenic area... 

 

Meiji Mountain Ticket: 90 yuan for visiting grottoes, 25 yuan for not visiting grottoes and 15 yuan for shuttle bus ticket.

 

The shuttle bus takes a long distance to Maiji Mountain Grottoes. So its better to buy the shuttle bus ticket. 

 

After getting off the shuttle bus, some local staff would promote the local guide service. But this guide service does not include the guide service to the Grottoes, it can only guide tourists to the main entrance of the Grottoes plank road to reach the grottoes. So I suggest tourists can hire the local guide service when checking in the 2nd time to getting up the Maijishan Mountain.

 

From the shuttle bus station, tourist can walk up through the restaurant square, and then up again. You can see one side of Maiji Mountain with two giant standing Buddha statues (Actually, there are three standing Buddha statues. But the statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Goddess of Mercy) now is only with the apron corner. So it looks like there are only two standing Buddha statues). Walking up again, and walking into a fork road at a toilet sign, Its a viewing platform (although there is no sign of the viewing platform), where you can get a panoramic view of Maiji Mountain for the first time. 

  

Walking up to again a big square, where you can find another side of Maji Mountain with three big Standing Buddha Statues (Maji Mountain consists of three sides and two sides of Standing Buddha Statues). Here you can enjoy the full view of Maji Mountain. Then go through the gate, check in  again to enter the Maji Mountain Grottoes area.

 

Maiji Mountain Grottoes are mainly composed of two groups of statue areas, the three Giant Standing Buddha areas here, and the two Giant Standing Buddha area tourists passed by for the first time after entering the gate.  

  

The three Giant Buddha Statue area mainly consists of the three Giant Standing Buddha Statues, the row of grottoes on the right side of the three Buddhas (i.e. the Middle Seven Buddha Statues Pavilion) and the row of grottoes on the top of the three giant Standing Buddha Statues (i.e. the Upper Seven Buddha Statues Pavilion). Most of them are protected by dense wire lattices and glass windows. It is said that the grottoes built here were mainly made of inner tone or wooden body with clay outside, mixed with glutinous rice and eggs. So the squirrels on the mountain came back to eat, causing the destruction of the statue. So according to the staff of the grottoes, researchers here even put the contraceptive on the squirrels.

   

Day 5
Tour in Tianshui, Fast Train from Tianshui to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Lanzhou

Today in Tianshui, tourists can visit Fuxi Temple in downtown Tianshui.

 

Afterwards, you can take taxi or bus to Tianshui South Railway Station, to take the fast train for around 1H20M train ride from Tianshui to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. 

 

After you arrive at Lanzhou (normally the fast train will stop at Lanzhou West Railway Station), tourist can take taxi or bus to your hotel in downtown Lanzhuo. Lanzhou West Railway Station is located at the west side of Lanzhou, also in downtown.  

 

Some more info about the above attraction today in Tianshui, 

 

Fuxi Temple.

In Chinese legend, Fuxi, who invented fishing and trapping, was the earliest ancestor of ancient China. Particularly, he first used eight-diagram in divination, which became an important part of Chinese culture. Initially built in the year 1483 and rebuilt nine times in later centuries, Fuxi Temple is composed of a complex of buildings that are laid out in a large scale and stately style. The thirteenth day of May on the Chinese lunar calendar is the Fuxi Cultural and Tourism Festival, when grand ritual and worship ceremonies will be held in the temple. 

  

At the palace rooms behind the temple is the Tianshui Museum. Although it is not a famous big museum, tourists can find many precious exhibitions

 

Day 6
Tour in Lanzhou
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Lanzhou

Today in Tianshui, tourists can take one day tour to Binglingshi GrottoesIron Bridge on the Yellow River and out view of the White Pagoda Mountain. 

 

Some more info about the above attraction today in Lanzhou, 

 

Binglingsi  Grottoes.

Binglingsi Grottoes. isolated by the waters of Liujiaxia Reservoir on the Yellow River, is 70 km to the southwest of Lanzhou. The Grottoes is started by some Buddhist monks from as early as the year of 265-316. "Bingling" means "ten of thousand Buddhus" in Tibetan language since there are many stone carved Buddha sculptures here. The site is well preserved, including 183 caves, 694 Buddha stone statues, 82 earth Buddha statues, more than 900 sq meters mural painting which are scattered around the cliff of 200 meter long and 60 meter high on the west bank.

  

* To Binglinsi Grottoes, tourists must take the long-distance bus at Lanzhou West Bus Station from Lanzhou to Liujiaxia Reservoir Dam, then buy a boat seat ticket to take a boat at the dock of Liujiaxia Reservoir Dam.

 

As the taxi service in Lanzhou is kind of poor, you can find it is very hard to stop a taxi in Lanzhou. I suggest you can take bus to the West Long-distance Bus Station in Lanzhou city.

 

Please note that you must show your Passport or Chinese ID card when buying a long-distance bus ticket. 

 

You should buy the bus ticket from Lanzhou to Yongjing County (the Liujiaxia Reservoir Dam is just beside Yongjing County Town, only 2 minutes bus ride from Yongjing County Long-distance Bus Station) is around 75 kilometers.The bus runs every 20 minutes. The normal ride time is about 1.5 hours. About one third of the way is along the Yellow River and the other two-thirds is in the mountains.

 

The coach will drop the visitors to Binglingsi Grottoes at the fork point of approach to the tourist service center of Liujiaxia Dam (passing the archaic archway across the highway). Please note that there is no regular station here. So when boarding the coach, tourists should tell the driver your destination is to take the boat to Binglingsi Grottoes. In this way,  the driver will remind you to get off.  

 

The lady from a store by the side of the highway here will come up to greet you, saying that they can provide a car to take to the boarding boat place, and send you back to Yongjing County Long-distance Station. The price is RMB200, includes the speedboat ticket. She will also pretend to place the bill. Just refuse her, even if she says she has already assembled several tourists.

 

At the road junction in the front of you, walking left along the railings by the dam spillway for only around 50 meters, you can find the huge parking lot in front of the Tourist Service Center. The Liujiaxia Reservoir Dam is on the right. 

  

There are generally two kinds of boats to Binglingsi Grottoes: big boat (108 kilometers for round trip, 7 hours, including 1.5 hours tour time), 60 yuan + 5 yuan insurance, and fast boat (108 kilometers, 3.5 hours, including 1.5 hours tour time), 120 yuan + 5 yuan insurance. The big boat is relatively stable, suitable for the elderly and people with cardiovascular diseases, and even if the wind and waves are big, it can generally open when the speedboat stops. But its last departure time is 12:00 at noon.

  

For the speedboat, there are 11 seats speedboats and 15 seats boats and so on. Generally  11 seats boat will be available. Ticket window ladies will tell tourists that they will sell tickets only after the number of tourists waning there is already 11. The lady will ask tourists to leave the cell phone number. Once the number of tourists comes here meet their needs, they will inform the tourist. But generally it is very soon.

 

Because the boats bow is raised when it is running at high speed, for safety, the boat will require the women of lesser weight and children to sit in the back. 

  

The standard sailing time is one hour, but usually it can arrive in 50 minutes.Tthe speed of the speedboat can reach 60 kilometers per hour. 

 

During the trip to Binglingsi Grottoes in the reservoir, the scenery on the left side is better. So it is suggested to sit on the left side.

 

After going up from Binglingsi Grottoes dock and passing a row of stalls on the left hand side, there is an earth-red building, which is the exhibition hall introducing the details of Binglingsi Grottoes. Although the 1.5-hour tour time is relatively tight, it is suggested that tourists take a 5-minute walk inside to see the general situation of this famous cave temple.  

  

After the Binglingsi Grottoes Exhibition Hall, there is a sign of "Water Curtain Cave" on the roadside. It takes about 50 meters walk to get to the small temple. But it is recommended not to see it. Because it is completely a new temple, and there is no water curtain! Buddha statues are new, just like the common Buddha statues in other monasteries.

 

Along the main road by the water, you can see the sign of toilet and the Binglingsi Grottoes. Many people took pictures here. 

 

Then you arrive at the ticket office.Tticket price: 50 yuan. Some special caves have to pay extra money to enjoy. But it is not recommended to buy such tickets. Because there is no time and energy, those caves need to climb the trestle to enter.

 

Not far from the Binglingsi Grottoes gate, on the left hand side, you can see the archway gate of Laojun Cave. It is around 50 meters up the mountain to the cave entrance. Although it is now restored to a religious site, the Buddha statues in it are all old ones, and it is the only cave with Taoist Gods in Binglingsi Grottoes (actually it is the unity of Buddhism and Taoism). Tourists can take a panoramic view on the mountain. 

   

This waterfront scenery is very peculiar and beautiful. The natural sceneries are even more attractive than grotto sculpture. Personally, the scenery here is not less impressive than Guilins landscape, and more peculiar and mysterious.

 

Not far away, you can see the bridge at the mouth of the Grand Canyon (that is, Dasi Gou). Never mind it, you can continue to walk along the stone road by the side of cliff. Because this bridge is the one you will pass when coming back from the opposite side. 

  

After completing the tour and come back to the Tourist Service Center at Liujiaxia Reservoir Dam, tourists can either take 5 Yuan taxi or 3 Yuan bus for around 2 minutes ride to arrive at the Long-distance Bus Station in Yongjing County Town. 

 

After you come back to downtown Lanzhou, you can get to the side of Yellow River in downtown to walk on the famous Iron Bridge on the Yellow River and enjoy the out view of the charming White Pagoda Mountain there.

 

Day 7
Tour in Lanzhou, Afternoon Train from Lanzhou to Zhangye
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Zhangye

Today in Lanzhou, tourists can visit Gansu Province Museum 

 

Afterwards, you can take the fast train in the afternoon for around 4.5 hours train ride from Lanzhou to Zhangye. 

 

Normally the fast train will stop at Zhangye West Railway Station which is not far from the central Zhangye. Tourists can take taxi or bus to your hotel in downtown Zhangye. Zhangye is a small city and tourists can easily arrive at your hotel soon. 

 

Some more info about the above attraction today in Lanzhou, 

 

Gansu Provincial Museum has rich collection (totally 355,364 pieces) of cultural relics, fossils and specimens with distinguished feature . Those with most unique characteristics are painted pottery of the Neolithic Age (10000-5000 BC), the documents of wooden and bamboo strips of the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220), documents, and treasures of the Han and Tang Dynasties from the Silk Road and Buddhist artworks  (202 BC–AD 907). The most famous and precious exhibits are: 

 

The main exhibition in the Gansu Province Museum is “the Silk Road Civilization in Gansu Province”. In this exhibition, we can find the logo of the tourism industry in China, Bronze Gallopping Horse with a Hoof on a Flying Bird and the symbol of the postal industry in China: A Tomb Brick with Picture of Postman. Moreover, the size of the bronze chariot and horse army behind Bronze Gallopping Horse with a Hoof on a Flying Bird is very spectacular. Personally, it feels as shocked as we feel facing the terracotta warriors and horses in Xian. 

  

Bronze Gallopping Horse with a Hoof on a Flying Bird: 

Eastern Han Dynasty, AD 25-220Unearthed at Leitai, WuweiH: 34.5 cm L:45 cm.

It was sculptured in the shape of "Liangshi Horse" (Liangshi means Good) which combines the advantages of Middle Asia Horse and Mongolian Horse. With ingenious design, refining ornamental mould and excellent copper casting technology. It is considered as the symbol of the cultural exchanges between the East and the West. So now it is the symbol of Chinese Tourism.  

 

Bronze Honored Guard of Horsemen and Chariots

Eastern Han Dynasty AD 25-220

Unearthed at Leitai, Wuwei. Totally there are 38 horses, 1 ox, 1 axe chariot, 4 light carriages, 3 honorable chariots, 2 small chariots, 3 big chariots, 1 ox chariot, 17 warrior figures with spear and 28 slave figures. This set of bronze horsemen and chariots is impressive to every visitors, they represent the outstanding achievement of the bronzes sculpture arts around 1900 years ago.  

  

Painted sculpture of Buddha flanked by Bodhisattvas

Tang dynasty, AD 618----907,

Originally located at Tiantishan Grottoes, Wuwei. Buddha is 130 centimeters tall.                    A Tomb Brick with Picture of Postman (Wei and Jin Dynasty AD 220–420): 35cm long and 17cm wide. Originally located at a tomb at Jiayuguan city. Now it is the symbol of Chinese Postal.  

 

A Tomb Brick with Picture of Postman

(Wei and Jin Dynasty AD 220–420)

35cm long and 17cm wide. Originally located at a tomb at Jiayuguan city. Now it is the symbol of Chinese Postal.

 

More details about Gansu Provincial Museum at its official website and Wikipedia:

http://www.gansumuseum.com/vm_bwg_en1/index.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gansu_Provincial_Museum

Day 8
Tour in Zhangye
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Zhangye

Today in Zhangye, tourists can visit Zhangye Danxia Landform Park which is majestic and imposing, together with the unusual shapes and the gorgeous colors, making people are stunned by the creation of the nature.

 

Some more info about the above attraction today in Zhangye,

Zhangye Danxia landform is a unique complex area of Danxia landform and color hilly landscape in China. Landscape areas mainly include Binggou Danxia Scenic Area (Binggou means Ice Gully) and Seven-color Danxia Scenic Area, which are about 12 kilometers apart. Normally most of tourists would like to visit the Seven-color Danxia Scenic Area in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Park. With Baiyin Township in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County as the center, the elevation is between 2000 meters and 3800 meters, it is around 40km long from east to west, and around 5 to 10 km wide from north to south. Thousands of cliffs and hills all show bright red and brown, which reflect each other and show the magic of bright-clouds like color.  

Its better to enjoy the colorful Danxia in the sun, or after rain, or at sunrise and sunset. It usually takes 2-3 hours to do the sightseeing in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Park.

   

Ice Gully Danxia is a little like the earth forest. Generally, tourists prefer to enjoy the Seven-color Danxia in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Park. The colorful Danxia landscape here is the most brilliant. The golden Danxia photos on the internet are basically taken here. 

 

* Long-distance Bus will arrive at the North Entrance to the Seven-color Danxia Park from Zhangye. Generally speaking, the bus will depart every one hour. It will take one hour on the way between Zhangye and the Seven-color Danxia Park. Tourists can buy one-way ticket or round trip ticket at the West Long-distance Bus Station in Zhangye. If you buy a round-trip ticket, when tring to take the return bus from the North Gate of the Seven-color Danxia Park, you can choose to take other companies’ car. What you need to do is to give them your bus ticket. But the best is to buy a one-way ticket when you depart from Zhangye. It is because the return bus ticket can only be used at the north entrance bus station. But if time permits, tourists can choose to go out from the East Gate or the West Gate to enjoy more scenery inside the Danxia Park.

 

On the way the Danxia Park

 

When checking in the Seven-color Danxia Park, the passenger will take the shuttle bus directly from the Tourist Service Center.

 

The shuttle bus will leave when it is full, and take tourists to several scenic areas inside the park. Tourists can stay at one place as long time as you like, and take the next bus to the next scenic area. There are some sightseeing viewing platforms at every place. At these stop places, tourists should walk up to the hills to enjoy the amazing scenery.

   

When you nearly complete the sightseeing inside the park, most of people would choose to take the bus back to the North Entrance. But you can also choose to take the bus to the East Entrance or West Entrance. Anyway, there are no many shuttle buses inside the park to the East and West Entrance. So you will wait for a long time for the right bus if you plan to leave the Park from the East or West Entrance.

 

The official website of Seven-color Danxia Park is: http://www.zydanxia.com/index.html 

  

 

* For the dinner today, I suggest you can get to the Famous & Special Local Food Market of Ganzhou City (甘州市场名特小吃街 in Chinese) to enjoy the local cuisine. Here Ganzhou is another old name of Zhangye. The food there are very delicious and cheap!

 

Day 9
Tour in Zhangye, Fast Train from Zhangye to Jiayuguan City
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Jiayuguan City

Today in Zhangye, tourists can visit Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple (include the Shanxi Guild Hall at the back side of the temple), Drum Tower (Zhenyuan Tower) (out view), Wooden Pagoda (out view).

 

Afterwards, you can take the fast train in the afternoon for around 2.5 hours train ride from Zhangye to Jiayuguan City. 

 

Normally the fast train will stop at the Jiayuguan South Railway Station, which is around 9 KM/16 minutes taxi ride from this railway station to downtown city, tourists can take taxi or bus to your hotel in downtown Jiayuguan city… 

 

Some more info about the above attractions today in Zhangye,

Located in the southwest corner of Zhangye City, Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple was built in 1098 with a large reclining Buddha, so people call it "Reclining Buddha Temple" or " Big Buddha Temple". This Buddha is the largest indoor reclining Buddha in China, the Nirvana image of Buddha Sakyamuni. He sleeps peacefully on the 1.2 meters high Buddhist altar in the middle of the hall. The Buddha is 34.5 meters long, shoulder width is 7.5 meters, ears are about 4 meters long, feet are 5.2 meters long. The space of one of the Buddha’s middle fingers can allow one person lying down. And the space of ear can allow eight people sit side by side. This shows how large the statue is. 

 

The temple covers an area of about 23000 sq meters, facing west. The existing architectures in the Giant Buddha Temple are the Giant Buddha Temple built in West Xia Dynasty (1038 -1227 AD), the Clay Pagoda and the Millennium Buddha Pagoda built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), the Bell and Drum Tower and the Shanxi Guild Hall in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD).

 

   

Tourists can also reach  the Shanxi Guild Hall at the back side of the temple from the temple. 

   

 

Drum Tower (Zhenyuan Tower) is located in the center of Zhangye City. Four main streets, east, west, north and south, meet here. It is the largest existing drum tower in Hexi Corridor (West Yellow River Corrior). This building was built in 1507 and rebuilt in 1650. It is on a brick base with the width of 32 meters and a height of 9 meters. The base is more than 30 meters from the top of the building. The building is a three-storey wooden tower with cornices and warping angles, beams and painted pillars, exquisite structure and magnificent shape.

 

 

Wooden Pagoda, as the main structure in the temple, is made in wood, hence the name. The temple was first built in 582, and renovated, expanded many times since then, but finally ruined. Later in 1926, the temple was rebuilt. The Wooden Pagoda is 32 m high with 9 stories and with very fine workmanship. There are no rivets for the connecting of woods, all the brackets, beams and columns criss-cross, connecting and supporting each other.

 

The recent renovation of this pagoda is in 1983 and 1986

 

In my idea, only the out view of the pagoda is enough.

 

Day 10
Sightseeing in Jiayuguan City, Early Night Fast Train from Jiayuguan city to Dunhuang City
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Dunhuang

Today in Jiayuguan, you can visit: 

Jiayuguan Pass (UNESCO World Heritage), the First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall  (UNESCO World Heritage) and the Great Taolai River Canyon, Cantilever Great Wall, the Guoyuan-Xincheng Tombs Area of Wei and Jin Dynasty (220-420 AD.). 

 

At early night, tourists can take the fast train from Jiayuguan city to Dunhuang. It will take around 2.5 hours on the way.

 

After arriving at Dunhuang Railway Station, tourists can take taxi from Dunhuang Railway Station to the downtown Dunhuang, around 11KM/15 minutes ride.

 

Some information about the 4 attractions in Jiayuguan city today: 

1. The West Terminal of the Great Wall in Ming Dynasty (1388-1644 AD.) - Jiayuguan Pass  (UNESCO World Heritage), 

Located in the middle of Hexi Corridor (West Yellow River Corridor), Jiayuguan Pass was built was from Hongwu reign, Ming Dynasty (1372 AD), which lasted 168 years and was completed in 1540 AD. The Pass consists of inner city, outer city, vat city, moat and the Great Wall on both sides of the north and south. Jiayuguan Pass is the starting point of the west end of the Great Wall in Ming Dynasty. It is also the most well-preserved and magnificent ancient military Castle along the Great Wall. It has the reputation of "the first grand pass in the world".

 

More about the Jiayuguan Pass at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiayuguan_Pass 

    

2. The First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall (UNESCO World Heritage) and the Grand Taolai River Canyon, 

This First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall, also known as the Taolai River Beacon Tower, is the beacon at the southernmost end of the Great Wall at Jiayuguan city area in the Ming Dynasty (1388-1644 AD.), and also the most spectacular and intact Beacon Tower along the Great Wall. The beacon tower stands on a cliff nearly 80 meters high beside the Taolai River, which can be called "the first dangerous Beacon tower in the world". The beacon tower is with vast desert to the west, the Grand Thaolai River Canyon to the south, and the high Qilian Mountain to the further south, to the north is the Great wall connecting to the Jiayuguan Pass.

  

 

3. Cantilever Great Wall,

This Cantilever Great Wall is about 11 KM away to the north of downtown Jiayuguan City and 7 KM away to the north of Jiayuguan Pass. It is named "the Cantilever Great Wall" because it is built on the ridge of about 45 degrees, and looks like hanging upside down. The Cantilever Great Wall is the northward extension part of Jiayuguan City and an important part of the ancient military defense system of Jiayuguan. It was built in 1539 in Ming Dynasty. It was rammed for gravel and loess that were taken locally. Now it only has 750 meters. After being repaired in 1987, it is composed of roadways, stacking walls and piers and abutments.

 

 

4. If you still have time, you can visit the Guoyuan-Xincheng Tombs Area of Wei and Jin Dynasty (220-420 AD.). This Tomb Area is a the Key Cultural Relics Site under the National Protection. There are more than 1,000 ancient tombs of Wei and Jin Dynasty in the protected area. Since 1972, 18 tombs have been excavated successively, including 9 brick tombs with painting bricks, and 760 murals unearthed.  

 

The first area you will visit is the exhibition area. But this exhibition has only one big room, with wooden coffins and some pictures

 

Behind here is the cemetery area. Tourist will visit the tome where once unearthed the "Postmaster Painting Brick". (But the original brick now is in the Gansu Province Museum in Lanzhou city.). Tourist can drive their own van or walk to the cemetery area. But if by waling, it will take around 10 minutes. This tomb is not big. And tourists must bend down to enter the tomb chamber.  

 

Its very famous in China. But for people who are not interested in archaeology, dont know "Postmaster Painting Brick", maybe can skip this place. 

 

 

* These 4 places are located outside of the downtown area of Jiayuguan city. So we suggest tourists can rent a whole day taxi to visit these places.

Day 11
Tour in Dunhuang
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Dunhuang

Today in Dunhuang, You can visit the West Side to Dunhuang city for the following attractions: Ancient Dunhuang City, the West Thousand Buddha Cave, the Site of Ancient Yangguan Pass, the Site of Ancient Yumen Pass (UNESCO World Heritage), Yadan National Geological Park. All of them are located to the west of Dunhuang city and can be easily reached by private van one by one in sequence. 

 

Some useful information about the attractions today in Dunhuang:  

 

From near to far

1. Ancient Dunhuang City, 

This Ancient Dunhuang City is 16km west of Dunhuang City and backed by Mingsha Mountain (Echo Sand Hill). It was co-built by China and Japan in 1987 for a large-scale historical film "Dunhuang". The city was modeled after the ancient city of Shazhou (the old Dunhuang city), based on famous ancient painting, the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival of Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD.). Now it is the base of film and television shooting. It used to be the scene of the film Dunhuang. The ancient city reproduced the splendor and magnificence of Dunhuang in the Tang and Song Dynasties. 

 

The architectural style of the Ancient Dunhuang City has a strong western Chinese style, with three gates in the east, west and south of the city. The city is composed of five main streets with the architectural style representing the style of one of the 5 ancient cities along the Silk Road: Gaochang, Dunhuang, Ganzhou, Xingqing and Bianliang. Tourists can find Buddhist temples, pawnshops, stores, wine shops and residential buildings on both sides of the streets. The city covers an area of 150,000 square meters and a building area of 15,000 square meters. The standard tour time in this Ancient Dunhuang City is 1 hour. 

   

 

2. The West Thousand Buddha Cave,

The West Thousand Buddha Cave is located to the west of Mogao Grottoes, hence the name. It is only separated from Mogao Grottoes by Mingsha Mountain (Echo Sand Hill). It is located on the cliff beside the Mother River of Dunhuang area - Dang River Valley. The cliff top is equal to the highway and the Gobi desert. The tour bus stops at the cliff top and tourists can  walk along the steps down to the Dang River valley.

  

Tourists should be guided by the local guide of the cave to enter the caves, and it is strictly forbidden to take photos inside the caves. 

 

The building time of the West Thousand Buddha Cave is earlier than that of the Mogao Grottos. So it has high historical and cultural value. 

 

Of course, although the West Thousand Buddha Cave has 16 complete caves at present, because most of them were built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), with a long history and serious damage, there are only 9 caves which visitors can be allowed to visit, while the other caves can only be looked up under the cliff. 

 

Under the eastern seat of the central pillar of Cave 6 in the Northern Wei Dynasty, there is a prayer written by Buddhist disciple Xinzang for his deceased grand parentsand parents. There are still more than 70 words to identify. This handwritten authentic handwriting in the Northern Wei Dynasty is extremely precious and of high historical value. 

 

Among the existing caves, the earliest is the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty. There are 1 cave built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), 3 caves built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581 AD), 2 caves built in the Sui Dynasty (581–618 AD), 3 caves built in the Early and Prosperous Period of Tang Dynasty (618-766 AD), 1 cave built in the Middle Tang Dynasty (766-836 AD), 1 cave built in the Five Dynasties (907-979 AD), 3 caves built by Uighur of ancient Shazhou (Dunhuang) city, 2 caves built in the Western Xia Dynasty (1038-1227 AD) and the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368AD), and 2 caves with unknown ages.

 

Cave 1-16 islocated on the Bank of Danghe River, and Another 3 caves are located in the north of Nanhudian (南湖店). The shape of the cave is basically the same as that of the Mogao Grottoes in the same period. It can be roughly divided into four types: central tower pillar grottoes, duplicate top grottoes, flat-top square grottoes and big open vertical rectangular niches. However, the shape of the Cave 11 built in Sui Dynasty (581–618AD) is similar to the circular tent of nomadic people, which is an only one case in Dunhuang Grottoes. There are 34 statues and 800 square meters of murals in the West Thousand Buddha Cave. The sculptures were mostly reconstructed in the Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, but there were also a few original sculptures. The style of the murals was basically the same as that of the murals of the same period in the Mogao Grottoes. The West Thousand Buddha Cave has its own characteristics in its grotto art. Many time renovations on caves of many generations make the style characteristics of many generations appear in one cave.    

 

3. The Site of Ancient Yangguan Pass, 

Yangguan Pass (Yang means south) is the throat of ancient land transportation in the northwest China and the pass which passengers must pass along the southern Silk Road. Because it is in the south of Yumen Pass, hence the name. 

 

Yangguan Pass was built in the period of Emperior Wudis "Establishing Four Counties and Protecting Two Passes" as early as 121 BC, the West Han Dynasty. In order to resist the harassment of the Huns to the frontier, to control the Western Regions of China steadily. The emperior set up Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiuquan and Dunhuang counties in the Hexi Corridor (the middle of west region of Gansu Province), and established Yangguan Pass and Yumenguan Pass, both of them are important passes along the Silk Road.

 

After the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), due to the gradual decline of land transportation with the West, this pass was abandoned. 

 

Now there is only one very big ancient Beacon Tower standing on the Gobi and sand desert. Tourist can visit one newly built Yangguan Pass city, take the battery van to the big ancient Beacon Tower, walk on the Gobi and sand area where the ancient Yangguan Pass once stood.

  

 

4. The Site of Ancient Yumen Pass (UNESCO World Heritage), 

The Yumenguan Pass site is centered on Xiaofangpancheng Castle (Small Square Castle), including 2 castles, 20 beacons and 18 sections of the Great Wall sites (built in Han Dynasty, 202 BC–AD 220). It was linearly distributed in an area about 45 kilometers long and 0.5 kilometers wide. 

  

The Great Wall changes their appearance with the time, whether because of material or function, it condenses the defensive history of the Western Han Dynasty. After thousands of years of wind and rain erosion, the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220) still stands in the Gobi Desert. It is one of the most well-preserved Great Wall of the Han Dynasty in China, and this wall proves the indomitable spirit of the Chinese nation. Along the city wall, tourists can step on the broken sandstone under your feet, touch the sand gently, to see whether you can feel the feeling from thousands of years ago.

  

 

 

5. Yadan National Geological Park, 

The landform in the Geo Park is like a fossil standing on the ground, with all kinds of weathered bare rocks, which makes the desert more mysterious and smart. With about 100,000 years of geomantic erosion, the Quaternary sediment "sculpture" has become large-scale today. But in fact, magnificent Yadan bodies of ridge, wall and tower pillar forms provide an excellent natural classroom for the study of Yadan landscape formation enthusiasts. Three-thirds of the scene, seven-thirds of the imagination, tourists can insert wings to the imagination, to fantasize, to feel the magic of nature!  

  

 

 

In the Geo Park, tourists will also take the shuttle bus to stop at the following places along the road, for tourists to come down and take photos for sightseeing: 

 

1) Golden Lion Welcoming Toruists, 

2) Sphinx,

3) Standing Peacock and West Sea Fleet; 

 

Tourists will also enjoy the desert sunset here! 

 

 

Today tourists will come back downtown Dunhuang very late, say around 11 PM. 

 

* These 5 places are located outside of the downtown area of Dunhuang city. The farthest attraction, Yadan National Geological Parks, is around 170 KM/2 hours van drive from downtown Dunhuang. So we suggest tourists can rent a whole day taxi to visit these places.

Day 12
Tour in Dunhuang, Early Night Fast Train from Liuyuan Railway Station (Dunhuang) to Turpan
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Turpan

Today in Dunhuang is the highlight of this itinerary. Tourists canl visit the famous Mogao Grottos (UNESCO World Heritage), Crescent Lake and Echo Sand Hill.

 

At early night, tourists can take taxi for around 130 KM/2.5 hours ride from downtown Dunhuang to Liuyuan Railway Station to take the fast train from Liuyuan Railway Station to Turpan. It will take around 3H15M in the train.

 

Please note that you should buy the train ticket to Turpan North Railway Station. This station is right by the north side of downtown Turpan. If your train arrives at Turpan Railway Station, this station is around 50 km to the northwest of Turpan! 

 

After arriving at Dunhuang Railway Station, tourists can take taxi from Turpan North Railway Station to the downtown Turpan. Turpan is a small city. So tourists can arrive the hotel very soon. 

 

Some useful information about the attractions today in Dunhuang: 

Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the Mogao Grottoes (UNESCO World Heritage) hold the worlds richest treasure houses of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures. There are about 30 caves open to the public, but usually the tour consists of 5 - 8 which provide a representation of the total. The selection is at the discretion of the local cave guide. 

More about Mogao Caves at UNESCO World Heritage: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440 

More about Mogao Caves at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves  

Although the Mogao Grottoes is in the middle of desert, all tourists to Mogao Grottoes must go to the Digital Exhibition Center of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes in the eastern part of the city at first. There tourists will buy the entrance ticket and enjoy two movies about the Mogao Grottoes,

 

then take the local shuttle bus (included in the entrance ticket) to visit the Mogao Grottoes in the middle of desert.

 

After disembarking the shuttle bus at Mogao Grottoes, tourist will walk along the wide road until finding a big archway on your right.

 

Turning right and walking across the Daquan River Bridge, passing the big archway and some flying girl statues,

  

tourists will arrive at the cliff where the Grottoes exist. Lining up in front of the cliff at the small archway, which is near the cliff of the grottoes, tourists will wait for the local Grottoes guide to guide you into the Grottoes. Each group will have 15-20 tourists and the guide will guide tourists to visit 5 - 8 caves. The tour time is around 50 minutes.

  

 

  

After the visit, tourists will take the shuttle bus again to return to the Digital Exhibition Center of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang city. 

 

The Digital Exhibition Center of the Mogao Grottoes is very near to the Dunhuang Railway Station, around 11KM/15 minutes ride to downtown Dunhuang. 

 

* Tourists can take taxi or bus to the Digital Exhibition Center of the Mogao Grottoes. 

 

The Echo Sand Hill and Crescent Lake Area is right to the south of downtown Dunhuang. In fact, it connects to the city. It is a very big park by the south side of the city. Dunhuang is not a big city. Tourists can walk or take bus to this park.

   

After Getting into the Sand Park, you may found big sand dunes are located kind of far away. The Crescent Lake is behind the right high sand dune. You can walk there or take the shuttle van to there. But I suggest tourists can walk there. It is because the shuttle van also stops a little far from the Crescent Lake.

  

If tourists want to get to the high place of the sand dunes, there are three ways: 

1) Riding camel, but it will not get to the highest place of the sand dune. It will take around 1 hour back and forth, 

2) Taking SUV, you can reach the highest place of the sand dune. But there should be 3 people together to take one SUV. 

3) Taking motorcycle. 

  

Walking to the top place of the Echo Sand Hill (sand dunes) is tiring, so walking is not recommended.  

  

The ancient building complex by the side Crescent Lake, now called Mingyue Pavilion (Singing Moon Pavilion), was actually rebuilt after the Cultural Revolution. The original building was a temple, which was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The model of the original building is now displayed in a palace in the Crescent Spring building complex.

   

If tourists want to take a panoramic view of the Crescent Spring, you can walk up the sand dune a little, then you can take the photo there. 

   

According to the local guide, because of the special environment, no matter how many footprints people leave on the mountain during the day, the wind will erase all the footprints by the night. The reason why Echo Sand Hill rings is that the sand grains here are empty, so they can ring, and the sand here is of many colors and can be taken home by tourists.

Day 13
Tour in Turpan, Early Night Fast Train from Turpan to Urumuqi
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Urumuqi

Today in Turpan, tourists can visit the Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe (UNESCO World Heritage), Grape Valley,Karez Well (also known as Kaner Well), Suleiman Minaret (also known as Sugong Tower or Emin Minaret). 

 

At early night, tourists can take taxi to Turpan North Railway Station to take the fast train to Urumuqi. It will take around 55 minutes in the train.  

 

Urumuqi Railway Station is in the wast of downtown Urumuqi.

 

Some useful information about the attractions in Turpan today: 

 

1) The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe,   

As the worlds biggest, oldest and best preserved adobe building city, and the most complete ancient urban site, Jiaohe was built by the ancient Cheshi people in the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). The highest military and political institution in the Western Regions of Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) is also in this city. Located on an island platform in Yar Township, 13 km west of the central city of Turpan, the river flows around the city, hence the name Jiaohe, means river juncture. It was the capital of Cheshi Qianguo, one of the 36 countries in the Western Regions of China. It is about 1650 meters long, narrow at both ends, and about 300 meters wide at the middle. It is a willow leaf-shaped island.  

The drought and lack of rain in Turpan made the old city well preserved. All the buildings were made of rammed earth plates, and the shape and layout were similar to that of Changan City in the Tang Dynasty. Government offices, Buddhist temples, pagodas, streets and alleys, as well as workshops, folk houses, military arenas, hidden solider caves, mud Buddha statues in niche still can be found in the city. The monastery area covers an area of 5,000 square meters, with 3 monasteies, one well and 101 pagodas. 

 

The buildings in the city were generally built in Tang Dynasty, which are mainly concentrated in the southeastern part of the platform within a range of about 1000 meters. The ancient city is surrounded by 30 meters cliffs, and three gates are built on the cliffs on the east, West and South sides. 

  

The architectural layout of Jiaohe Old Town is mainly composed of three obvious parts. A central road running through the north and South divides the residential area into East and West parts, and the northern end of the main road is the huge monastery area. The building area of this areais about 90,000 square meters. The buildings are mostly rectangular courtyards with the courtyard doors facing the streets. From the layout of each courtyard, it should be a monastery, because there is a square earth pillar in the main room, which should be a shrine or tower pillar. 

 

* After entering the gate, tourists can take the shuttle bus to Jiaohe ancient village, an imitation of the ancient Uygur village,

 

 

then take the shuttle bus to circle the platform of ancient Jiaohe city, and finally to the main entrance of Jiaohe ancient city – the South City Gate.

 

The Central Scenery Viewing Platform is in the middle of the ancient city ruins, after the government office building site.

 

This central scenery viewing platform is on the top cliff of the Central Avenue. So tourists should walk along the Central Avenue, then according to the guide board, turn to the sub-main road, continue to go northwest for a little while, tourist will find the government office building site.

 

 

Not far from here, tourists can find the large Central Scenery Viewing Platform, where you can find a deep gully which separats the viewing platform from another side of the ancient city. But there are actually roads leading to the northwest of the ancient city. 

  

* In my opinion, Jiaohe Ancient City is the most worthwhile scenic spot in Turpan. 

 

More about Jiaohe Ruins at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaohe_Ruins  

 

2) Grape Valley, 

Located at the west end of Flaming Mountain, the Grape Valley is 8 km long from south to north and 2 km wide from east to west. The Buiruk River (the Putaogou River, as shown on the local map, is called the Peoples Canal) runs through it (the river is actually very small, just like a stream). The valley is lush, and plants nearly 100 kinds of grapes, such as seedless white, mares milk, white currant, red rose, soxo and so on, forming a natural grape museum.

 

Tourist will take the shuttle van to visit the attraction points in the valley. From north to south, they are Grape Valley Amusement Park (the most important one and also the landmark of the valley) - 1.2 km – the Museum of Mr. Wang Luobin’s Music and Art - 1.2 km - Dawazi Folk Customs Park - 2.1 km - Avati Manor (Avati Custom Park) - 1.5 km - Oasis Vineyard (Grape Valley Folk Custom Village). Here shows the Uygur architectural characteristics, folk customs. Tourists will meet Uygur people and ethnic villages where farmers live, enjoy all kinds of grapes.

   

3) Karez Well (also known as Kaner Well), 

This irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels is considered to be one of the three great ancient projects in China. The Karez Wells Paradise is located adjacent to Turpan, 3 km west of the city center. The famous fruit and vineyards of these hot, dry desert communities owe their existence to the Karez wells, ancient underground irrigation channels fed by wells that tap into the snowmelt from surrounding mountains. These systems are still maintained and functioning today. A small museum provides an insight into their intriguing history and construction, and takes you below ground for a first-hand view. 

   

There are another place to appreciate Karez Well in Turpan, DengGong Jing (means Mr. Dengs Well). On August 20, 1981, Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China, visited Karez Well here. The total length of Karez Well here is around 2,500 meters long, with 85 wells, a flow rate of 15 litres per second. The original ecological Karez Well is still preserved here. Here you can see the original underground canal and open canal of Karez, not being developed for tourism. The scenery here is very beautiful. 

 

More about Karez Well at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qanat 

  

   

 

4) Suleiman Minaret: 

Suleiman Minaret, also known as Sugong Tower or Emin Minaret, it is the biggest ancient tower existing in Xinjiang Province and the only ancient Islamic minaret in the country. It is located 2 km southeast of Turpans center.

 

More about Suleiman Minaret at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emin_Minaret  

 

 

 

* Tourist should rent a van for one day to tour to these places in Turpan.

Day 14
Tour in Urumuqi
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Urumuqi

Today in Urumuqi, you can visit the Heavenly Lake, a lake on top of the Mt. Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain and the UNESCO World Heritage) 

 

Some useful information about the attractions in Urumuqi today: 

 

In the morning, you can rent a car to drive for around 2.5 hours to the Heavenly Lake, a lake on top of the Mt. Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain and the UNESCO World Heritage).

 

After purchasing the entrance ticket and checking in it, tourists can take the shuttle bus to up to the mountain to the lake. But after the shuttle bus stop, tourists still will walk for around 500 meters to the Heavenly Lake.

  

Tourists can take boat to cruise in the lake (paid additionally). The blue lake water is finely contrasted with steep forested hills, high meadows and snowy Heavenly Mountain peaks behind.

  

Tourist can also take cable car to the peak behind the Heavenly Lake to enjoy the birds eye view of the lake.

   

 

 

After drive back to Urumchi. If time permits, tourists can also visit the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar in Urumuqi.    

 

I suggest tourists can stay at the 4-star Tumaris Hotel (突玛丽斯大饭店) in Urumuqi. It is with the Russian palace style lobby, hearty breakfast, good room, and only 500 m to the west of the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar. If you stay in this hotel, you can visit the bazaar at early night.

 

Day 15
Sightseeing in Urumuqi, leave Urumuqi for Kashgar
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Kashgar

Today in Urumuqi, tourists can visit Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar if you have no time to visit there yesterday night. You can walk on the streets around the Bazaar in Urumuqi to enjoy the unique atmosphere in this city.

 

In the afternoon, you can take taxi or shuttle bus for around 20KM/30M ride to Urumuqi Airport to fly to Kashgar. After around 1 hour 50 minutes, you will arrive at this westernmost big city in mainland China.  

 

The Kashgar Airport is around 9 km to the north of central Kashgar city. Tourists can easily arrive at your hotel in Kashgar.

Day 16
Sightseeing in Kashgar City
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Kashgar

Today in Kashgar, tourists can visit the famous the old town of Kashgar (ancient Kashgar City), Afaq Khoja Tomb and Sunday Bazaar (now opened everyday).

 

Some useful information about the attractions in Kashgar today: 

 

The old town of Kashgar (Ancient Kashgar City )  

Centered on the Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque), The old town of Kashgar is located in the center of Kashgar, covering an area of 4.25 square kilometers, with about 126,800 inhabitants. Apart from the rebuilt city wall along the Tuman Road in the east of the old town, the other three sides of the border are all modern houses along the road (but with many old houses inside).  

Old houses and streets in old cities in this area are crisscrossed, flexible and changeable in layout, winding and secluded. Many traditional houses have a history of over a hundred years. This ancient city is the only maze-style urban blocks with Islamic culture in China, one of the largest existing civil and brick structures city in the world.

  

As the only preserved traditional historic city block with typical characteristics of ancient Western Regions in China, the houses in this old town are mostly made of civil and brick, which are the important material evidence for studying the living customs and architectural characteristics of ethnic minorities.

   

In 2009, this old town carried out a centralized transformation, investing 839 million CNY to reinforce and renovate 9722 Uygur traditional dwellings in the old urban scenic area of Kashgar. In 2014, Kashgar City invested 150 million CNY to improve the landscape quality and market radiation of the old urban scenic area of Kashgar, which greatly improved the tourism service here.

 

The old dilapidated city is no longer an old and disrepair. Now it can withstand the 8.5 magnitude earthquake, and with good fire rescue channels. The life embarrassment in the old time, "Cleaning sewage by evaporation, Cleaning garbage by the wind, water pipes hanging on walls, Peeing by climbing up to the top of rooms" is gone. 

 

And the old city still has the unique charm as its prosperous time before: the same architectural style, the same historical block, the same folk customs, the same traditional shops. UNESCO believes that its experience is "worth promoting". 

 

About 100 m from the south of the Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque), at the junction of Boyi Road and Kumudalwaza Road, there is a green two-storey Uygur-style building. It is the only one Teahouse with over one century history in the old town of Kashgar. The famous American film "The Kite Runner" begins here. It was here that Amirs father and mentor watched the kite race. And most of scenes of the film were shot in this old town of Kashgar, although the story of this film happened in Afghanistan.   

  

  

Founded in 1442, the Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque) is 140 meters long from north to south, 120 meters wide from East to west, and covers an area of 168,000 square meters. It is divided into seven parts: the main hall, the outer hall, the teaching hall, the courtyard, Gongbaizi, the minaret and the gate. It is not only the largest mosque in Xinjiang, but also one of the largest in China. It is one of the three most influential mosques in Asia. For those who have been unable to visit Mecca Holy Land in their lifetime, the purpose of their life is to worship this great mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang.

 

At midday on Fridays around 10,000 people will gather to pray and study the Koran, and prayer 5 times/day on other days. Youll be asked to remove your shoes before entering the Main Hall, which has traditional Islamic pillars, carvings and rugs strewn over the floors. Women are advised to cover upper arms and legs, a scarf is not compulsory, but is seen as a mark of respect. This is a must visit place for tourist in Kashgar.

   

Afaq Khoja Tomb: The tomb served as the family tomb of Abaq Khoja, the powerful ruler of Kashgar in the 17th century who was revered as a prophet and second only to Mohammed.   

  

  

Sunday Bazaar (now opened everyday): The famous Sunday bazaar has been operating since ancient times, and the scale has become larger and larger, attracting merchants from all over Xinjiang and neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan. Farmers from the suburbs of Kashgar come to the bazaar early in the morning, using various means of transportation, such as bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, trucks and donkey-drawn carts. The highways leading to Kashgar are crowded with these vehicles and pedestrians on Sunday mornings, as well as with flocks of sheep. 

 

More about Kashgar at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashgar 

More about Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque) at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id_Kah_Mosque

Day 17
Sightseeing outside of Kashgar City
Meal:
Hotel:Overnight in Kashgar

Today in Kashgar, you can rent a car to go along Sino-Pakistan Highway for around 190km/4 hours to the famous plateau lake near Pakistan, Karakul Lake. On the way, you can pass the beautiful Bulunkou Lake (White Sane Lake). At and near the Karakul Lake, you can enjoy the 7719 m high Gongeer Peaks and 7546 m high Mount Muztagata which is with the name of “the Father of Glacier”.  

  

  

 

Some useful information about the attractions in Kashgar Area today: 

 

Bulunkou Lake (White Sand Lake) is at the altitude of 3300 m and covers an area of 20,000 ha. It is a very beautiful reservoir

   

 

Lake Karakul is by the side of highway from Kashgar to Pakistan, about 3600 m above sea level. Mount Muztagata (said to be one of the five most beautiful mountains in the world) provides a beautiful backdrop at 7546 meters with the nearby Gongeer Peaks rising to 7719 meters above sea level. The view there is extremely charming and the scenery throughout the journey are too enchanting to put into words. Every photo there can be used as the computer screen picture. 

 

More about Karakul Lake at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakul_(China)

  

Day 18
Leave Kashgar
Meal:
Hotel:

You can take taxi or shuttle bus for around 9 km ride to Kashgar Airport to leave Kashgar.  

 

* If you have any problem to book the hotel or tour in these cities, please feel free to contact us. Thank you very much!